Fair will offer smorgasbord of colleges to prospective students

BY JILL KASSANDER SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT

More than 60 colleges and universities will be on represented at the 10th annual Choices Jewish College Fair coordinated by the Central Agency for Jewish Education. The fair takes place on Sunday, Jan. 28 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Temple Israel.

“It is the largest representation of schools we have ever had,” fair coordinator Karen Rader said.

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There have been a few additions to the fair this year based on student and parent evaluations of previous fairs. For one thing, there are more Missouri schools represented. Families recognize state schools offer the same or better undergraduate education in terms of tuition and fees, said Rader. They also wanted more representatives from individual schools on hand in addition to having alumni. Many of the schools are sending admissions officers or area representatives.

There are many new schools represented at the fair this year and some which haven’t been there in a while. Those schools include: Brown University, University of Missouri, Rice University, St. Louis University, Smith College, University of Judaism, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, University of Oklahoma, and Webster University.

“Most schools are prepared to also answer questions concerning Jewish opportunities on campus,” Rader said. “In addition, Chabad on Campus and St. Louis Hillel will also be at the fair to answer questions about Jewish activities at any school.”

Each family receives a package of resource materials and brochures including Reform Judaism’s Insider’s Guide to College. The special reprint lists the top 60 private and public schools Jews choose to attend. It includes the number of Jewish students at those schools and the percentage of the school population that is Jewish.

Though some high schools recommend that students attend college fairs during their junior year, more and more students and parents are finding it helpful to begin coming when their students are freshmen or sophomores. With so many more schools to choose from, an early look gives students a sense of what opportunities are out there, Rader said. Also, if a family is planning on taking their student to visit any schools, meeting with the schools at the fair offers a first step to being more selective on those trips.

Ladue Horton Watkins High School senior Ben Arnstein has attended the fair for the last two years.

“The best thing about the fair is being able to talk to the people about the different colleges and see them all at the same time in a stress-free environment,” Arnstein said. “It is also nice to be with other Jewish kids from the St. Louis area and talk to each other about college choices.”

For more information about the Choices Jewish College Fair contact Karen Rader at 314-442-3756 or [email protected]

Jewish Summer Opportunities Fair

It is not too early to plan ahead for summer though the recent cold snap reminded us we really are in the midst of winter. This year the St. Louis Jewish Camp Directors Council and Tips on Trips and Camps are collaborating to present the Jewish summer opportunities fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28, at Congregation B’nai Amoona.

Traditionally local summer opportunities fairs have usually been held on Saturdays. This is a problem for Jewish families who are Shomer Shabbos and for some of the Jewish camps to have representatives at those fairs.

“Having the fair on a Sunday allows campers and camps from all the different branches of Judaism to participate,” fair coordinator Jenny Wolkowitz said. “There will be more than 30 camps and programs representing a wide range of opportunities for children from ages 8 to 18. There will also be program information available for children with special needs.”

The one-stop shopping for camping opportunities and summer experiences include a nice cross section of day camps, overnight camps and teen programs said CAJE teen program director Rabbi Ari Vernon who works regularly with the camp directors council.

“All the directors of the camps on the council live locally and will be at the fair,” Rabbi Vernon said. “Families and campers have the opportunity to meet with them and hear about their programs in person.”

Day camp members of the directors council who will be at the fair include: Alfred Fleishman summer camps of B’nai Amoona — Ramot Amoona and B’nai Ami; Chabad’s Camp Gan Israel; Jewish Community Center Day Camps; Kollel Torah MiTzion’s Camp Derech Eretz; Camps of Shaare Emeth — Camp Emeth and Camp Micah; The Mark and Carol Shook Camp of Temple Israel, and United Hebrew’s Camp Saul Spielberg. Overnight camp members of the directors council will also be at the fair: Camp Ben Frankel, Camp Livingston, Camp Nageela Midwest (formerly Camp Gesher) and Camp Sabra.

There will also be many opportunities for high school students. Several camps at the fair have special programs for students in upper grades and there will be information on Israel and travel programs. High school students looking for summer jobs will be able to speak to camps who will be doing staff recruitment. Two unique programs available will be a Performing Arts camp in New York and an internship program in Boston.

For more information on the Jewish summer opportunities fair or for a free phone consultation, brochures and DVDs contact Jenny Wolkowitz at 314-432-8642 or e-mail her at: [email protected]